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19th-Century U.S. Literatures

Scholars of nineteenth-century U.S. literatures at Iowa share a perspective that is at once historical and aesthetic. With attention to labor and the commodity form, to civil war and national union, to immigration and assimilation as well as resistance, to popular culture and celebrity, and to urban life and regional difference, we chart a literary sociology for the period. At the same time, we are concerned with the aesthetics of magazines, life writing, poetry, fiction, advertisements, oratory, sports, museums, travel, and newspapers as the means for gauging historical context and engaging imaginative experience. We are strong in archival research and analysis, thanks especially to the Walt Whitman Archive and the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review. Nineteenth-century Americanists belong to a vibrant interdisciplinary community that includes colleagues in the departments of American Studies, African and African-American Studies, Native Studies, History, Art History, and Theatre.